Jack the Monkey is Hector Barbossa's monkey that appears in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean film series. Among other appearances, the character appears in several video games. Named after Jack Sparrow, as something of an insult to Sparrow, this Capuchin monkey was considered the meanest, most rotten-tempered simian in all the Caribbean.
In the book cover of Legends of the Brethren Court: Wild Waters, Jack appears on Barbossa's shoulder. However, Jack does not physically appear in the book. He is only mentioned in one of Jean Magliore's prophecies, where he bellows out "The monkey's name is Jack!". This most likely causes Barbossa so much amusement he files it away for future use.
At some point after leading the mutiny against Captain Jack Sparrow, who was marooned on a desert island, Hector Barbossa had a pet capuchin monkey (named after Jack Sparrow) before finding the treasure of Isla de Muerta. Upon finding the treasure, the monkey became cursed like the rest of Barbossa's crew, turning undead in the moonlight, and bestowed with indestructibility. Jack stole the final piece of treasure from Will Turner aboard the Interceptor and returned it to Barbossa. After being swatted away by Elizabeth, no longer afraid of the monkey, Jack was present at Barbossa's death on Isla de Muerta. At this point, Jack temporarily became mortal again when Will lifts the curse, though he later steals the necklace coin that once was owned by Elizabeth Swann and becomes cursed again.
Through unknown circumstances, Jack the Monkey found his way back on board the Black Pearl, now under Jack Sparrow's command, when it returned to Isla de Muerta, only to find the island had been claimed by the sea. He resides on the Black Pearl and torments the crew (and gets tormented back, if Jack Sparrow didn't start it first) until he is bartered to Tia Dalma for the location of the Flying Dutchman and the jar of dirt she gives to Jack Sparrow. He is shown wandering near a boot, which with hindsight is revealed as Barbossa's, and later rejoins the resurrected captain. Later, after Jack Sparrow's death, Tia Dalma finally introduced the reborn Barbossa to the surviving members of Jack's crew. At that moment, Jack returned to his rightful place on his master's shoulder.
With Barbossa brought back from the dead, Jack the Monkey joins his master on a quest to rescue Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones' Locker. The monkey admitted, with a raised hand, that he was one of the few who came after Jack Sparrow because he actually missed him. He also developed something of a partnership with Cotton's Parrot; the two worked together during the battle in Singapore to destroy a fireworks factory. However, during an altercation aboard the Black Pearl, Jack drew a small pistol on the parrot just as Barbossa did the same to Sparrow, causing the startled parrot to cry "Parlay?"
During the parley on the sandbar, Barbossa sliced off Jack Sparrow's piece of eight, which Jack the Monkey retrieved and gave it to his master. The monkey remained aboard the Black Pearl during the battle around Calypso's maelstrom, where he (with Pintel and Ragetti) witnessed the impromptu marriage of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. After Will Turner swung over to the Flying Dutchman, he dealt with one of Davy Jones' crewmen, Maccus. Simultaneously, Pintel and Ragetti fired Jack the Monkey from a cannon. Jack, still immortal but none too pleased with this undignified mode of transport, flew into Maccus's face and attacked him, knocking him to the deck, rescuing Will, who promptly thanked the monkey.
Upon Davy Jones' death, Jack the Monkey escaped the Dutchman by clinging to Jack Sparrow's makeshift parasail, and returned to Barbossa aboard the Black Pearl. He was with his master when the Pearl and the Dutchman destroyed the HMS Endeavour, and he was with him when the pirates expressed their victory. After the battle, Barbossa commandeered the Black Pearl from Jack, again, at Tortuga. Barbossa happily fed Jack a peanut while on board while sailing out to open sea, calling Jack, "daddy's boy".
At some point prior to the film, the Black Pearl was attacked by the notorious pirate Blackbeard, who used his sword to bring the ship to life and turned against Barbossa's crew. While Barbossa barely managed to escape, the Black Pearl was shrunk into a ship in a bottle. When Jack Sparrow discovered the Black Pearl in a bottle, both Jack the Monkey and Cotton's Parrot are seen encased on the shrunken ship. Jack Sparrow comments that the monkey is even more annoying in miniature. By the end of the film, Jack Sparrow was able to recover the bottle with the Pearl, thanks to Joshamee Gibbs, and is discussing with Gibbs the plan to return it to normal size. At the same time, the miniaturized Jack the Monkey is annoying as ever to Jack Sparrow.
Jack was eventually restored to his original size along with the Black Pearl by Hector Barbossa wielding blackboard's sword. He remained with Barbossa on their travel to the Black rock island where the Trident of Poseidon resided. During their travels, Barbossa gave him Sparrow's former compass to prevent Sparrow from stealing it back. When they arrived to the island where the Trident of Poseidon lay hidden, Jack stayed on the Pearl. Following the death of Barbossa, who sacrificed himself to kill Captain Salazar and the destruction of the Trident of Poseidon, which released all curses from the sea including the curse that kept him undead, Jack mourned Barbossa's demise along with the rest of the Pearl's crew.
Having no reason to hold a grudge against Jack Sparrow anymore and seeing just how much respect he truly had for Barbossa even when they did not always agree, Jack finally accepted Sparrow as his captain. He appeared at the helm where he returned Sparrow's compass in a show of peace, though surprised at this Sparrow nervously accepted the gesture. Jack decided to stay with him, sitting on the top of his shoulder like he used to do with Barbossa. Sparrow looked surprised and perturbed at first at being chosen by the monkey as his new master, but quickly changed his expression to one of acceptance and welcomed him. Together, they sailed towards the horizon, and whatever new adventures lay waiting.
Behind the scenes
- Jack the Monkey was played by at least four capuchin monkeys. In The Curse of the Black Pearl, Jack was portrayed by a ten-year old female named Tara, and a ten-year old male named Levi, while Chiquita (female) or Pablo (male) portrayed Jack in Dead Man's Chest and At World's End. Chiquita reprised the role of Jack in On Stranger Tides.
- Jack appears in a scene after the credits of The Curse of the Black Pearl, showing how he becomes cursed once more after Barbossa's death, explaining his undead status in the sequels, particularly Dead Man's Chest and At World's End.
- The "Jack the Monkey" card in the Pirates of the Caribbean Trading Card Game states that he was the only member of Barbossa's crew not to put his blood on the Aztec coins, hence why he remains cursed. However, this directly conflicts with the post-credits scene in The Curse of the Black Pearl, which sees him purposely take a coin from the chest to become cursed again (and if Jack hadn't put his blood on the coins none of the other crew members could have undone their curse).
- Jack is a reference to Treasure Island, as it is named the former captain in mockery of him, just as Long John Silver's parrot was named "Captain Flint", in mockery of Silver's former captain.
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